Are you familiar with your company’s mission statement? More importantly, does your company have a mission statement that is clearly understood by everyone within the company and that drives the organization forward? If not, it’s time to write one.
A mission statement is a declaration of your company’s purpose or intent. It should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. While some people may question its importance, a well-written mission statement can be a powerful tool for your company.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to write a company mission statement that matters. We’ll also look at some of the benefits of having one and provide a few tips on how to make sure your mission statement is effective.
Let’s dive in!
What is a mission statement?
Every company should have a mission — the reason behind its existence. This is usually summed up in a mission statement. But what is a mission statement?
A mission statement is a document that explains the purpose of your company and how you plan to achieve it. It should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Most importantly, it should accurately reflect the vision and values of your business.
Mission statements can be used internally or externally. Internally, they help employees understand the company’s goals and objectives. Externally, they communicate your company’s purpose to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
Why does your company need a mission statement?
Companies with a clear and defined purpose have been shown through research to outperform the market 15-to-1. They also grow significantly faster — roughly three times the rate of their competitors.
That’s because a mission statement provides a framework for decision-making, clarifying what’s important to the company and its stakeholders. It also helps to align employees around a common goal and keep everyone focused on the big picture.
With a clear mission statement in place, you can expect benefits such as:
- Increased clarity of purpose and direction for the company. When your company’s purpose and vision are put into writing, it’s easier for everyone to understand and remember.
- Improved communication and coordination between departments. A mission statement puts everyone on the same page and helps to avoid conflict and miscommunication.
- Increased motivation and productivity from employees. When employees feel like they’re part of something bigger, they’re more likely to be productive and take pride in their work.
- Better branding and marketing opportunities. A well-written mission statement can help you attract top talent and customers alike.
Elements of a mission statement
Mission statements are usually written into a company’s articles of incorporation and act as a guide to how the company should operate. There are a few key components that make up an effective mission statement.
A good mission statement will explain the reason for the company’s existence. It should outline what problem the company is trying to solve or what need it is trying to meet. For example, Amazon’s mission statement is “to be the world’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
A strong mission statement will also include a vision for the future. This is a description of what the company hopes to achieve in the long run. For example, Google’s vision is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
A mission statement should also reflect the company’s values. These are the guiding principles that dictate how the company behaves and makes decisions. For example, Apple’s values are creativity, quality, and simplicity.
In order to create a mission statement that matters, a company must first take the time to understand what it is and what it wants to be. Once the basics are defined, it’s important to put them into words that will inspire employees and customers alike.
Writing your company’s mission statement
Now that you are aware of the elements that make up a good mission statement, it is time to write your company’s. The following tips will help you draft a statement that accurately represents your business and its goals.
1. Keep it brief
Your mission statement should be concise and easy to understand. Aim for around 50 words or less. This will ensure that your statement is memorable and impactful.
2. Focus on your company’s purpose
Your mission statement should reflect what your company is trying to achieve. What are your core values and what do you hope to accomplish in the future? Make sure that your statement accurately represents these goals.
- What problem do we solve?
- What value do we offer our customers?
- What are our unique selling points?
- Why do people need what we sell?
3. Use simple language
Your mission statement should be easy to read and understand. Avoid using complex terms or jargon that may be difficult for your customers or employees to comprehend.
For example, instead of saying “we aim to incorporate a level of simplicity and reliability into each and every product,” you could say “our company aims to create simple and reliable products that provide value to the customer.”
4. Be specific
Don’t try to include everything in your mission statement. Instead, focus on the most important aspects of your business. What are your main goals and what do you hope to achieve? Keep your statement concise and specific.
5. Stay true to your values
Your mission statement should be reflective of your company’s culture and values. Make sure that the statement accurately represents the beliefs and principles that are important to you and your business.
If you are struggling to pinpoint what your values are, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the things that I am most proud of?
- What do I want my company to be known for?
- What is important to me and my team?
- How do we want to make a difference?
6. Be flexible
Your mission statement should not be set in stone. It should be flexible enough to adapt as your company evolves and changes over time. Make sure that your statement remains relevant and accurate.
7. Test it out
Once you have written your company’s mission statement, it’s time to test it out. Show it to your employees, customers, and partners. Get their feedback and see what they think. Are they able to understand the statement? Does it accurately reflect your company’s goals? Make sure that you are happy with the statement before you publish it.
Mission statement examples
If you are writing a mission statement for the first time, it can help to review some examples first. Looking at a mix of well-written and poorly-written statements will help you to ascertain what to do and what not to do.
Examples of a poorly written mission statement
Poorly written mission statements will generally include one of the elements, but neglect to include the others. It is usually too vague and makes blanket statements that do not clearly define the company’s purpose.
“To make money.”
This is not a mission statement, it is a goal. A mission statement should describe the organization’s purpose, not just its goals.
“To be successful.”
Again, this is a goal, not a mission statement.
“To provide the best customer service possible.”
This is a better statement of purpose, but it is still too vague. It does not explain how the company plans to achieve its goal or what it will do differently from its competitors.
“To be the best in our field.”
This is better than the first two examples, but it is still not specific enough. What does “the best” mean? How will the company know if it has achieved this goal?
Examples of effective mission statements
On the other hand, a well-written mission statement includes all of the key elements — purpose, vision, and values — in a way that is specific, yet simple and clearly understood.
“We exist to provide a great place to work and to make a positive impact on the world. We see a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, both professionally and personally. We are passionate about our people, we care about our communities, and we aim to be a force for good.”
This mission statement clearly communicates the company’s purpose, vision, and values. It is specific, yet easy to understand. And it paints a future that is inspiring and motivating.
“Our company exists to serve the community around us. Our goal is to provide healthcare to the people who need it most, in a way that is affordable, accessible, and compassionate. We are committed to delivering quality care that improves the health of those we serve.”
This mission statement also communicates the company’s purpose, vision, and values. It focuses on how the company will serve its community — by providing healthcare that is affordable, accessible, and compassionate.
When drafting your mission statement, it may help to keep these examples in mind in terms of the elements they include and how they are written.
It may feel like a lot of pressure to write your company’s mission statement, but it’s an important task. By taking the time to craft a statement that reflects your company culture and drives your business goals, you can create a powerful tool for your organization. Just be sure to keep it concise, clear, and memorable.
Remember that no mission statement is set in stone, either. If your goals and purpose change somewhere down the line, it’s perfectly okay to update your statement to reflect those changes. The important thing is that you have a mission statement that you can stand behind and that will inspire your team to reach new heights.